Cantor Arts Center opens Exhibition of Works by Contemporary Artist Elizabeth Murray

Stanford University’s Cantor Arts Center presents a unique exhibition of works by Elizabeth Murray (1940–2007) on view anuary 22 through March 30.

Considered one of the nation’s most important postmodernist abstract artists. “Her Story”: Prints by Elizabeth Murray, 1986–2006 includes all 42 of the groundbreaking editions made at New York’s Universal Limited Art Editions (ULAE) from 1986, when she first created prints there, through the last two decades of her prolific career. Primarily drawn from a private collection, this comprehensive selection of prints has never before been shown as a group.

Murray belonged to a generation of artists who emerged in the 1970s exposed to Minimalism and Pop art of the time—as well as earlier models such as Cubism, Surrealism and Expressionism—and who experimented with new modes of expression. In this inventive artistic environment, Murray gained distinction by using boldly inventive forms and vivid objects and occurrences from everyday life. As Critic Roberta Smith wrote in the artist’s New York Times obituary, Murray “reshaped Modernist abstraction into a high-spirited, cartoon-based, language of form whose subjects included domestic life, relationships and the nature of painting itself.”

Murray’s approach to printmaking, like her painting, was iconoclastic, breaking with the idea that a painting or print is a two-dimensional object representing a single point of view. Murray’s prints reflect her penchant for eccentrically shaped works and multi-part compositions, with some constructed of multiple sheets of paper that she printed, tore and reassembled into three-dimensional art. Her compositions are dynamic, daring, witty and emotional, drawing inspiration from diverse sources ranging from masters Paul Cézanne, Henri Matisse and Pablo Picasso to comics, children’s books and Walt Disney cartoons.

The Cantor is open Wednesday through Sunday, 11 a.m.–5 p.m., Thursday until 8 p.m. and is located on the Stanford campus, off Palm Drive at Museum Way. Parking is free on weekends and after 4 p.m. weekdays. For more information about the Cantor Arts Center, call 650-723-4177.